Veterans filing claims in increasing numbers, VA staff may burn out

| May 1, 2023

After the passing of the PACT Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs has seen an increase of claims being filed. Although this is good news to the veteran community, addressing this increase of veterans completing and submitting claims may burn out the VA staff processing these claims. The burnout, in turn, risks slowing down the processing rate, and increasing backlogs.

From the Military Times:

Already, 500,000 individuals have filed paperwork for PACT Act compensation for illnesses tied to burn pit exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Agent Orange conditions from service in Vietnam, and issues related to radiation exposure at various military sites in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jacobs said VA staff have processed about 14% more claims through mid-April than compared to the same time frame last year, with roughly the same approval rates. But new claims this year are up 31% over the same time frame last year, meaning staff isn’t keeping up with the demand.

VA officials insisted the heavier caseload is a positive sign, because it means more veterans are reaching out to the department for earned benefits. But they acknowledged it increases the need for new staff hires and faster training.

The department currently employs 28,000 claims staffers, its largest total ever, and up more than 1,100 in recent months because of aggressive hiring initiatives, Jacobs said. He added that recent improvements in the claims process such as automating some processing and clarifying approval rules have also helped workers improve efficiency and helped boost morale.

In addition, the department is sending out new surveys to veterans starting this week to gauge their satisfaction with the claims process, in an effort to make sure the changes and challenges aren’t adding stress to disabled veterans. The 13-question survey will look at veterans’ trust in the process, use of support services and other issues related to the claims.

The Military Times has additional information.

Category: Veteran Health Care, Veterans' Affairs Department

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20 years of two worthless wars that ended in embarrassing defeat, trillions wasted, thousands killed/wounded, insane ROE where troops weren’t even allowed to engage the enemy or defend themselves…

You BROKE it, you FIX it.


I don’t know where you were but I was never under any ROE where I wasn’t allowed to defend myself. I’d be interested in reading a copy of an order or something that said “the right to self defense is hereby denied”.


Give Democrats a chance, they’ll do that– watch.


Yeah, that only happens in America where Progressives try to take guns from the law abiding and refuse to punish criminals.

tom reynolds

I recall a certain suicide bomber,that the pentagon knew about but they neglected to tell the Marines that were the target and waited for permission (that never came) to take him out. Would that count? Probably not,it was only 11 dead Americans and all those others that didn’t matter to our tranny pushing generals.


Is that the same pentagon who gave permission to kill 10 Afghan civilians (7 of them children) because someone had suspicions? Maybe the wires got crossed.

MSG Eric

Funny thing. A friend of mine submit his claim to the VA for toxic exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan. TRICARE assigned him to a VA hospital for treatment while he was still on active duty and they were treating him for allergy issues while he was still in uniform. But, they said, “Denied. Not service connected.”

I don’t know if it’s the automated process or manual process that’s the issue with this one, but they made allergy issues presumptive of exposures the PACT act is supposed to cover back in 2018, yet denied a claim they’ve been treating for since before that?

I’ve been told that in the VA, sometimes the right hand doesn’t even know there’s a left hand.


Hard to tell if it’s a computer or simply not thinking with the VA.


Got a letter from the VA saying my kidney cancer was considered to be caused by my Gulf War deployment. So i went thru the rigamarole and they did give me a disability rating…of 0%! To be fair, i’ve been cancer free for years, but still what a waste of time.


“Denied. Not service connected.”

As opposed to paid time off and travel expenses to obtain abortions, which are evidently service connected.

USMC Steve

Hard to get burned out when so many of them do nothing to begin with.


Those coffee breaks are hell…


Testify, Devil Dog!

Or maybe DotGov should consider hiring 87K VA Employees instead of 87K Infernal Reven-new-her (ARMED) Agents. Hire from that pool of unemployed homeless vets. Might help ’em get off drugs and not want to kill themselves.

Forest Bondurant

Of the 500K that have applied, how many of those were submitted using fake and unverified DD214’s and fake medical records?

Of them, how many claims will get approved before the legitimate claims?


A 100% disabled Vietnam Vet buddy received 2 packets a week apart saying he has not verified his dependent (wife) dating back to last summer and his $ will be reduced unless he verifies his dependent within 60 days.

He filed paperwork in person with supporting documents verifying his wife via the Seattle VA Medical Center last summer with all the requested supporting documents when they were in country for his multiple appointments there.

He had previously filed the same paperwork with supporting documents at the Manila VA clinic and was told he was good to go. Prior to that he had filed the same paperwork & documents at the Anchorage VA Medical Center when he lived there.

Me thinks the VA has an issue with records management.


Strangely, I went and filed my claim today. My last doctor visit the doctor (US Army Doctor) straight up told me that at least two things wrong with me that were directly service connected and that I was crazy for not filing.

Mike B

I was in Uzbekistan at Karshi Khanabad cesspool.

I had a Widow Maker heart attack (Nov 02) 5 months after I returned back to home station. In Sep 08 I was finally medically retired after I had an ICD implanted in Jul 06.

I was a Reservist with prior AD, my heart attack occurred while on AD status. Med Board found me physically fit, returned to duty. When I had the ICD implanted I was recalled to AD again and was found unfit for continuous service. Ended up with an AD medical retirement with Tricare benefits etc. 22 years 8 months total service, with 17 1/2 years of AD credit. Plus as an ART (Air Reserve Technician) i received an FERS Disability Retirement, followed by SS Disability all by age 43.

The Air Force (MEB, PEB) rated me 100% disabled and medically retired me. The VA found me 100% P&T disabled w/ no future exams.

Yes I’ve got a ton of other medically issues. So should I file a claim for toxic exposures from my time in Uzbekistan? It’s not like my rating can go up. I have Tricare for Life and Medicare based on disability, so all my medical is payed for.

I forfeited my AF disability for VA disability, and I’ll draw my Reserve retirement at age 58 1/2 aka 2 years 2 months from now. It’s not like they’ll rate any medical issues as combat disabilities (Disabilities caused by deployments) and allow me to draw my retirement now.

I keep being told to get things checked, documented, rated. But will it do anything in my case? Just questions I’ve been pondering!

Last edited 1 year ago by Mike B

FTVA… like FTA.


Since the House cancelled the funding for the 87,000 IRS agents, maybe they can re-vector that cash to the VA.

tom reynolds

Maybe if they didn’t fire everyone who wouldn’t take the poisonous clot shot,they would have competent employees. They prioritized that over patient care and they are still promoting the fraud knowing the damage they are doing.


I started my claim at 180 days out from retirement, spending over five months waiting while on retirement leave. COVID allowed us to carry over 120 days, so I had almost five months between that and TDY. Retired 1 December, a week later got a letter stating 90%, and a week after that got a 100% P&T rating. Surprised me, since I’m mostly intact physically, but I’ll take it.

Some VA workers take their job very seriously and really want to help. A retired 1SG I served with years ago posts advice on Facebook every now and then. She works for the VA now, and one of her recent posts was about people getting all their info together instead of adding claims every week.

It was confusing enough waiting from June to December and never seeing any progress. Once I started working, though, another recently retired NCO told me they can’t really do anything until retirement hits. I was still on leave, but sure enough, it came through almost as soon as my DD-214 took effect.

I completed the online portion of the Burn Pit Registry but hope to avoid much interaction with VA medical facilities. After all, I can’t get a higher rating, have Tricare, and can get additional insurance through my job if desired.